Our 19th Webcast where we discuss Video and Film Lighting Magic.

 

 

What lights? What diffusions? What technologies? What does it matter? Join us for this week’s Crew Talk as get some incredible insights and hard-fought anecdotes from some video and film industry rock stars about the magic of lighting.

 

Sarah Marince:

Hello everyone. Happy Wednesday. Welcome to crew talk brought to you by shoots.video. That was an awesome intro. Thank you, Justin. For that intro. I’m Sarah Marince. I’ll be your host for this evening and I have my co-host here, Justin.

Justin McAleece:

Hi. How you doing Justin McAleece here? Fresno, California, shoot. Stop video. Yeah. Happy to you. Because on today to talk about film lighting, movie lighting, Video lighting, it’s gonna be super fun.

Sarah Marince:

All kinds of lighting. We’re going to cover it all. And we have a fantastic panel here today. I’m going to go through quickly, have them all introduce themselves. And since we have so many people here, we have so much to talk about. So I’m going to quickly do this, starting with Pamela. Welcome.

Pamela Bloom:

Hello. It’s nice to be here. My name is Pamela. I have been a filmmaker for over 20 years, a photographer for over 10. I Moonlight as a gaffer or a script supervisor, a producer director, and I now manage all of North America for Roto Light. And I’ve been teaching lighting and led lighting for gosh seven, eight years now. Wonderful. We’re glad to have you. Hello art. Thank you for joining us today. Might be on mute.

Art Adams:

Hey Art Adams here. I was a DP for a long time. More than I should probably say shot mostly commercials, corporate, but a little bit of everything. Some second year of teacher work, documentaries, visual effects, things like that. And I am currently cinema lens specialist at Arri in Burbank.

Sarah Marince:

Wonderful. Glad to have you. Hello, Ian. Welcome to the show. Hope you’re on mute. You’re on mute.

Ian McAleece:

Oh, we may need to take them off from you. Oh, okay. Yeah. All right. Well, is that it? You got it. All right. Hey guys. Hey guys. What’s going on? You Ian McAleece here from Fresno, California. I’ve been a gaffer riff Raff for camera, all kinds of stuff for 15 plus years now. And lovin every moment of it finding out new stuff all the time.

Sarah Marince:

Great. And next we have Jose there with a pretty cool setup there.

Jose Maria Noriega:

Hello everybody. My plastic panel there, I’m the marketing officer or FluoTec and I have been in this business for the last 40 years. I think that I am one of the old guys here, but happy to help anyone.

Sarah Marince:

Excellent. We are glad you are here and next we have Troy.

Troy Ten Eyck:

Hey guys. Troy Teneyck from different Colorado DP gaffer for about 10 years, I started in Atlanta and moved here right out of college. And now My work is in commercial and a feature in short narrative.

Sarah Marince:

Wonderful. And we have Luke. Hi Luke.

Luke Seerveld:

I’ve been a gaffer for a, well, probably too long, but not quite as long as Jose and yeah, here in the Bay area, corporate video mostly started off in features and stuff like that. And I know Art, so didn’t see him on the list before, but it’s really nice to see him here.

Sarah Marince:

Awesome. Can connect again. That’s great. Well we have so many questions here today. I actually don’t even know where to start, but this is a subject that Justin actually knows a lot about. So Justin, do you want to take our first question and kind of pick who you want to throw it to? Yeah, that is there, there are so many there’s so much. No, no, that’s fine. There’s, there’s so much to get into. Let’s start with throw one out here. How have you seen the world of cinematography and or lighting specifically change the most? Like what’s been the biggest impact in the last couple of years? Luke, we’ll go to you first.

Luke Seerveld:

Well, I think you’d have to pick out LEDs just because that’s been the biggest sea change. Not that much has really happened in the grip side of things, but in lighting yeah, it’s been LEDs and making that transition, but or just adding to HMI’s and tungsten and regular keynote flows now, you know, bringing in a different quality of light. Many people tried to stay away from it for as long as possible, but it’s, it’s been kind of an undertow that sucked us all in.

Justin McAleece:

Yeah, absolutely. Pamela, are there any downsides to led or LEDs? Are we seeing sort of the way that the industry is going, that this sort of gets away from some of the positives as the other types of lighting,

Pamela Bloom:

They used to be a big downside of your ROI used to take so much power and you weren’t getting as much output, but in the last few years that has exponentially changed as the diodes have evolved. I mean, you’re looking at, at star Wars where the Mandalorian lit their entire set with full led lights. I mean, it was tough to even think about that a few years ago, wasn’t even a conceptual idea. So the the downsides that have been are actually kind of no longer, I mean, we’re still working with issues with, you know, white LEDs and the types that are and, and how it’s being used, but that again is changing as the evolution of LEDs has come so far in the last seven or eight years. It’s, it’s absolutely kind of incredible to be in the lighting industry and see it evolve where it’s going.

Justin McAleece:

Yeah, absolutely. Ian would tell me a little bit how led lighting has changed your game and, or I know you still have a soft spot in your heart for tungsten. Like how does that play these days? Well, yeah. It’s like everyone was saying the LEDs can do so much. And

Ian McAleece:

The only downside is that you don’t look cool putting on the gels on the front of your tungsten barn doors and picking them out and stuff, you know, that’d be the only drawback, but I, the main thing I see is that you were able to get such a, like, you know, big boy light, if you will such a studio light in a small package. And so many people now can utilize the, the the power of, of a large source and what it can do through a windows for your diffusion, for all these things, you know, with their budget. And it’s really opening up a whole different Avenue for young filmmakers to make their stuff look just like the big boys. Yeah, absolutely. Troy I w where I was on set with you a couple of years ago, and I know that you have your own truck, you have your own gear. And how does the fact that this technology is changing so quickly impact your ability to like, have all the toys that you’re supposed to have? How, how does someone approach it that way when they’re like an owner operator?

Troy Ten Eyck:

Yeah, I look at it as just a, another tool. I still keep a fair amount of tungsten. I think tungsten was, it was made for skin done, so I will always carry tungsten on my package. But I think led, you know, it’s just a, it’s, it’s the right tool for the right project. I just recently got the 600 D and I love it. I I’ve actually shelved my, my 1200 HMI and, and put that in my attack cart. Cause it, it comes to play more often than it does. The same amount actually has a little bit more output. I dunno if I have a dirty lens or what, but it, it definitely is, is coming to the game strong. Yeah,

Justin McAleece:

Yeah, absolutely. I’m very much looking forward to that day. I want to do exactly that switched over to the 600 D instead of the 12 hundreds. I know Luke, you’ve done some tests on the 600 D and that sort of thing. Can you shed any light on that real quick?

Luke Seerveld:

Yeah, originally we had a setup with a mat team going through an eight by of magic cloth. And then we were going to look at that in comparison to something else. But then we thought, Hey, while we’re at it, why don’t we just put up to 600 DS instead of that mat and see how that compares. And we had to turn down the 600 DS to 80% each to match the output of the mat team. So that, that was kind of a fun thing. You know, there has been the issue with the fan. So maybe in a tight room, that’s not the best you know, solution, but they are working hard on that. And I think we’ll, we’ll be seeing hopefully a good patch for that version.

Justin McAleece:

Sure. Yeah. Jose, were you, did you say something about that?

Jose Maria Noriega:

No, no, no, it’s perfect. I totally agree with what is going on a fantastic time for, for every lighting manufacturer. We started 20 years ago and, and now we have hundreds all around the competitors around the world. So this means that we have to be very careful about eh, all the things that go into this technology. And yeah, I, I think that there is a lot of improvement that has been done in the, in the last years.

Justin McAleece:

Yeah. Art you know, for so long, the amount of light you needed was there was sort of a minimum level that you had to have and because lenses weren’t fast enough or, or your stock wasn’t fast enough or whatever it happened to be. How does how the lens choices these days, cause that’s sort of your specialty these days, how does that get affected by the fact that we have so much lighting that can produce a lot of light with not much power

Art Adams:

It’s necessary? I mean, it what I’ve seen in the industry over time is that there’s more work than ever, but because of that, the money is getting spread farther, but the expectations are still really high. So you still have to do the same quality of work with a lot less. And the good news is that cameras have gotten a lot faster and there’s a lot of really fast lenses out there. And then we also have a lot of lighting choices that follow along and I find particularly with led lights having fewer lights that can do more things is really important because you don’t necessarily have the opportunity to fill out a package with a lot of different lights or move a lot of lights around. You need lights that will do a lot of different things, so you can get them into one place and then you can futz and change. And you know, I think there’s that, that combination of kind of having lights that are Swiss army knives, fast cameras and fast lenses, it’s really allowing us to keep the quality level high in spite of all the pressures that are fighting against that. That’s really what I’ve been seeing.

Justin McAleece:

Yeah. It makes a lot of sense, Sarah, what’s next on the list? What else do we want to know? That’s going to throw it to Jose and ask for a technical level. How do you light for technical proficiency?

Jose Maria Noriega:

This is, this is a fantastic question. I think that the, the best thing that we can think about the technical is that for example, for video film, you have to have a legal signal. This is something that you have to achieve with lighting really in, in a, in a way that everybody feels comfortable about what they are going to do with the signal or the image once they, they capture it. And this is something that has been a part of the, of the video industry and the film industry that you have to achieve legal limits and, and in terms of photography, although some photographers don’t agree totally with this, I would say that you have to get the right amount of exposure that will give you a nice image without noise. That would be the, the, the, the most I would say simple way to tell about what are you looking for in a technical sense.

Sarah Marince:

Okay. Excellent answer. Pamela, do you have anything you wanted to add?

Pamela Bloom:

Yeah, I, you know, when I teach filmmaking one Oh one, I still teach my new filmmakers to learn how to use a light meter, learn how to use your color meter, learn how to read those scopes, understand how the light is interacting with the particular cameras you’re working with. You need to understand that and go back to film one Oh one on a lot of these issues. You know, for me, I grew up switching from film to digital and the film world. And honestly, I didn’t learn how to use a light meter in the very beginning. And then once we start getting monitors that show the scopes and I started going into bigger productions, it was something I had to go back to and learn. And now I teach that to my other filmmakers who are coming up as like, you’ve got to learn this. You may not learn it in school. You may come up as, as a one man band on your own, but go back to those basics and learn those skills.

Sarah Marince:

So learn that first then kind of move into everything.

Pamela Bloom:

Yes. Understand what the scopes mean under scanned. What it, how does that your light meters understand all of that? And you’ll be, instead of being a good gaffer, you’ll go and be that next level. If you understand it all, you’re going to be better at what you do and set you apart. Yeah, exactly.

Sarah Marince:

What about for an aesthetic level? Like how do you create attractive lighting combinations? Yeah. And what does that mean these days? Like how, you know, when you have everything at your fingertips in terms of color, especially how do you, how do you not get overwhelmed option paralysis and that sort of situation. Anyone want to take that

Pamela Bloom:

At the end of the day, you’re telling a story and you need to understand, you know, your warms and your cools and what that means subconsciously too. So if you understand psychology nursing colors in your sand sound, that basic level is going to help you artistically create moods that you want to create.

Sarah Marince:

Anyone else want to jump in on that? Oh, yes.

Jose Maria Noriega:

I think that there are interesting things that you can talk about the, this creative concepts for example, now that we are having RGB lights all around one of the things that are important for example, is that you take into account how the complimentary colors work together in a scene, for example, how to create a polit of colors that will go helping your talent or your, your whole tire or the stage how the, the coolers can affect the mood and, and the psychology of, of the situation how the, the position of the lights affect the mood also. So, yes, of course lighting has the, a lot of issues that can be taken into account psychologically, emotionally from the technical point of view. And, and the more you go into that, the more you love the, the, the, the, the light normal, that, that, that’s why we call ourselves the light warriors, because you, you have to fight with the light.

Justin McAleece:

Yeah, absolutely. Ian, I think you had some input on that.

Ian McAleece:

Yeah, I think you know, what th what everyone else said is, as is true of knowing the meaning behind what you’re lighting, you know, the comedy is gonna look different than a drama. A horror is going to look different than, you know, yada yada and going with your gut, you know, like feeling the light out is really important to me, kind of just walking into a scene and I’m thinking about it imagining, you know, putting yourself there, being a character in the scene is really important. And I’d say also, you know, staying with the times, because, you know, movies in the forties and fifties lit a certain way. And if you like that, like now it’s gonna look really weird. Even if you, you could, you could make something look like the nineties with lighting, or you can make something look like, like, like just strange a little bit. So like understanding where everyone in the world is at on like their style of like a, a really low you know negative fill in the front now, or, or like a really, really, really hard edge is what everyone’s kind of, you know, getting on together as like a community with the, with the style, with the changes of our style as people watching. Yeah. It’s a, it’s a great point, Luke or art. Maybe you could talk about that a little bit, how you guys have been doing it for a while, and how do you sort of unlearn things or shift to keep with the times, do you feel like you have to go through that process? Consciously at all? Luke?

Luke Seerveld:

Yeah. I, I guess it’s It, you know, it, it changes like what, what, you know, like you were saying the, I forget is it Troy maybe? No, sorry, Ian you know, that hard smash that’s often like a sports thing. Often it’s, it’s like different types of production have kind of their go-to looks. And then, you know, for awhile we had shaky cam, you know, then that, that went into into more of a Dana Dolly type thing. And then that got rid of a lot of use of, of dollies. And so it’s like the tech and the creative have always kind of gone hand in hand then with sky panels, you know, color came back so to speak. And, and so people started finding ways of using color in production, even though that wasn’t really so much of a thing, you Know, gels and all that was always there, but, but it, it, it came back with, and then with the stereo tubes so a lot has there’s been this kind of push and pull between technology moving ahead and creativity either leading or using what’s available to the, to change. So I think just like with the DSL DSLR revolution, now we’re having that with the led revolution in a sense. And it’s making us all have all these much more, you know capable creative tools, which is awesome.

Justin McAleece:

Yeah. I think it’s similar maybe in a way to where you have a word processor, you’re ne you’re making a flyer you’re going to Photoshop or illustrator or whatever it is. And like, you have a hundred fonts there and you have like a whole different bunch of different ways to outline them and drop shadow and all these things it’s like, you can easily overdo that just because you have 100 fonts doesn’t mean you should use five fonts on a flyer, and that’s, that’s sort of the trick sometimes with color and, or say backlight and how much negative fill versus fill versus any of these things. It’s like, there’s always a balancing act there. And when we get new tools, we tend to maybe want to use all those tools because it’s fun to do that. And that’s, I think the art is like finding what not to do. I think that’s very important. Art, Mr. Adams wanted to say about that. Yeah.

Art Adams:

Yeah. I it’s funny. I was once accused of using every light on the truck just because I had one rental house. Tell me they’re going to start charging me for Shockware. And then I think it’s a natural progression, or you just the more experienced you get, the more you learn how to do more with less. And also you become more ambitious in the morning issues you are. As far as, you know, getting the number of shots and what you’re seeking, trying to do, you learn to simplify because if you make it too complex, you’re just not going to be able to do it. So if you designed this crazy three 60 movie, if you spend all day lighting it and hiding lights and doing all this other stuff you know, at some point you’re going to run out of time to do the move, or it’s going to get, go massively over budget. You’re never going to get hired again. So it’s always a balancing act with what you know, where you are in your career learning to perfect, your eye learning, to you know, figure out what you really like, what your style is, because everyone has a style and you can push that style around a lot. And I’ve done that a lot over the course of my career. But there’s always this kind of core to who you are, and you kinda have to find out who that is. And once you find out what that, that, that core feel you have is then you I think you just become, you start refining what you do and that kind of guides like, you know, I learned that I like naturalistic lighting that has some punch to it. So my style has always been soft contrasty.

Art Adams:

I like subtlety. So you know, I’ll do things like I’ve learned how to light shadows, because lighting a shadow can be as interesting as lighting highlights, but that kind of takes a while for you to get to that, that level of subtlety in the beginning. I just realized as I experimented, I like the subtlety of soft light. I like the way it wraps around and paces. I like the way it makes everyone look good, but then I started learning how to kind of modulator it. Like sometimes I want it a little softer, a little harder. How do I keep it off that back wall? Because if it sprays everywhere, then everything just, the contrast is just too low. So then you go through the stage of, you know, maybe soft light with contrast, building that in learning how to modulate it. You just, I think everyone goes through stages.

Art Adams:

And I think some of it is driven by new technology because as, as cinematographers, certainly I, I see all cinematographers will look at what’s possible with a new tool and then just try to push that boundary. So some new tool will come out, everyone will jump on it. And then, you know, you’ll see it everywhere, especially in used to be in music videos. That was the big thing. Someone who do something really cool and music videos, and then suddenly for like the next three or four months, you’d see that in every music video and then it kind of drift off and you’d start seeing it in places where it was just really more clickable story, but there’s a lot of that experimenting going on where people see something. And I think that’s a natural, you see something you like, and you want to emulate it. And then it kind of ripples through a community and then it kind of settles out and it just becomes another tool

Justin McAleece:

For sure. And you, you were talking about the soft lighting and soft lighting, has the has the tendency to be hard to control, you know, you’ve got a big soft source, so you get a six by 12 by whatever it is, a bouncer shooting through it. And it’s like, what do you do? That was a question from Ken is like, how, how do we handle control these days with so many LEDs and maybe bigger softer sources than we used to have? Troy, maybe you take that. Yeah.

Troy Ten Eyck:

That’s for a grips department comes in. I mean, they’ll still always be controlling everything that we come and just puke out as far as light. I think they’re the, the gaffers get the recognition for the lighting, but the, the grip team is still the ones that come in and shape it. And I don’t think that’ll ever change no matter what happens with led. I still think that’s a good balance and relationship as it should be.

Justin McAleece:

Yeah, totally. Pamela you’re you’re nodding. Okay.

Pamela Bloom:

Oh, I just laughed at that comment. No, but he’s right. And, but if you’re a one man band, if you’re just a corporate, you know, shooter’s doing everything, you know, I, I gaffed an interview of a few weeks to go and the building they gave us was all windows and we’re shooting through the entire afternoon. And luckily I scouted beforehand, took pictures, did the directional see where everything was going to be and realized, Oh, going to have to flag the crap out of this thing, to keep it light consistent throughout the day. And I had to pull out all the stops and even borrow stuff from a production, just so I could puke out, do what I needed to do, but you know, our, our groups don’t get enough recognition. That’s for sure.

Sarah Marince:

Pamela, I love your little guest that you have with you.

Pamela Bloom:

That’s been left for work and forgot to put the dogs in the craze. So love it

Sarah Marince:

Sleeping right back here. So now I love that we do have some great questions in the QA that I just wanted to kind of address before we get too much further from Kenneth. He has another question. Hi, Kenneth, I’m a location and sound mixer. I often encounter lights with fans. How can we educate gaffers that fans are detrimental to sound? I don’t know if anyone wants to take that on

Justin McAleece:

Luke’s laughing because the gap terrible sound sort of, I mean, that’s the running industry joke, right? Sorry, Ken. I know Ken. Yeah, but who wants to talk about, and he and Ken also asked about generators with regards to the same thing. I would say that one thing about generators as good as they were probably sort of, there’s less of them around, in some cases, because we don’t need such big lights or lights to at least take as much power. So, I mean, it should be going that direction, even though Harbor freight has these cheap $500 generators that happened to be really loud. And so it’s like that’s meeting at the same time as the fact that we can light with less power is happening. But I think in the long run, things will get quieter, but anyone else want to talk about the fans on the lights these days?

Pamela Bloom:

Yeah. But you, that it’s getting better. You know, when the LEDs come, came out and as they were being more and more used on sets, they were pretty loud, but the technology is advancing that. And now if you know, different type of company lights or whatever, like on Rhoda light, you can actually turn off the fan, go in stealth mode and that sort of thing. So it’s up to the operator to understand how to adjust those levels so that your sound guys are still your friends at the end of the day.

Sarah Marince:

Nice. Did you want to go ahead and add on to that? Yeah.

Troy Ten Eyck:

Sorry. I didn’t mean to step on you there. That is one thing I noticed with the 600 D is the fan and coming from camera as well. I’m, I’m a red owner, so it’s like some of my best friends on set are sound guys. And I want to keep it that way. As far as like generators and stuff, I, I say definitely that’s what location Scouts are for, you know, plan your distro accordingly when it comes to the other departments that we’re going to be affecting. But yes, the 600 D I would love to see, I dunno if there’s a way to come out with some sort of saw or, you know, like a upgrade for it or something. Cause I know red did that with, you know, being able to go to a quieter mode when they’re rolling, but it is a little distracting, not in bigger rooms, but in smaller rooms. August is an issue, but yeah, no worries

Luke Seerveld:

The rolling it out soon. So we’ll be able to check it out and they’ll send it to people to try it first. And, and So it’s sort of two things it’s like bring a level down and then make it more regular. So it’s not a on-off kind of thing and yeah, that’s that’s definitely what we’re all working at because LEDs, even though they come off as cool, they put out a lot of heat and usually eat out the back. So with panel lights, the first LEDs, you didn’t need as robust a fan, but now when we’re getting to these, you know hard light LEDs with a more concentrated bit of a clump of emitters, then the heat is a bigger issue. So that’s where we’re going to have to deal with.

Justin McAleece:

It’s always a push and pull, you know, trying to figure out where we, we, especially when you’re buying sort of knockoff things, maybe from China, they’ll take something that worked really well on a panel from a more expensive company, whatever it happens to be, and then sort of forget about the heat issue or forget about other parts of it that are like super important to the rest of what’s happening on set. I do find that in some cases you get what you pay for in terms of that things that you might not have thought about that used to be people. Maybe weren’t even aware when they were given reviews like There’s fans, and these could be a problem on there. As this stuff progresses Sarah, what do we got next?

Sarah Marince:

So we have a question from Mike Shields. Hi, Mike, where is that manual about different lighting techniques for the various decades? I don’t know that there is one that says that. Exactly.

Ian McAleece:

If you found that manual I have not found the manual. I dunno. It’s just a watch and learn. It’s just getting excited about deconstructing scenes that you watch and things that you’re looking at. Like I’ll be, you know, in the car with my wife and I’ll just like, look all super weird at her and I’ll be like, stop. And then like somehow we’ve pulled into an area where the light is just hitting her just right. And I’ll notice it. And I’ll like, I’ll notice the real world. I’ll notice, like what things look like in certain situations and take a mental note or even take an actual note. But I don’t do that. I just take a mental note and you just get really emphatic about geeking out on Y Y different light looks differently and it’s just watching things, you know, just watching documentaries, movies, TV shows all the different things. You just make all these mental, you know, ideas, and then you gotta go out and try it obviously, cause you’re not going to be perfect at it the first time you do it. So with experience comes the application of all that those things you’ve noticed around around the the areas that you look at.

Sarah Marince:

That kind of goes along with my next, or what I was going to bring up.

Sarah Marince:

Is like the psychological level, like how to create civilization or like represent moods, like the moonlighting and everything. Does anyone kind of want to take that one?

Art Adams:

Oh, you know, the one, there was one thing that I used to get into arguments with the ad agency execs with all the time. And I was always trying to take my commercial work to another level, and it was a real fight because contrast is a lot of what drives moods. And I mean, color does a quality of light, but contrast is really powerful. And I used to have this discussion, heated discussion about how shadows, for example, are not an absence of information. There were color, black is a color that you paint with, and you can do incredible things by painting with black lighting the background, putting someone in front of the bus and not lighting that or using contrast and shaping things on a set. And there was this idea that, yeah,

Justin McAleece:

The rolling stones made a whole, a whole career out of painting it black. So yeah, absolutely work for them. It’ll work for the rest of us. Anyway, continue, sorry.

Jose Maria Noriega:

Fainting about bathing with light. I, I, some people ask about the manuals. Well, there are fantastic books like John Altoon painting with light, and of course, hold all, all the magazines from American cinematographer. I would recommend now they have every, with everything on online. And there was a trove of information in American cinematographer that has been the work for a hundred years. And I would invite everyone to, to, to go there. The digital cinema society, for example, is another fantastic organization that helps and have, has been doing a lot of shootouts and, and, and, and expositions and everything. I would recommend everyone here for our audience to, to do that, not go go to these fantastic books that have been done by the masters. The American cinematographers is a trove of, of, of, of information.

Justin McAleece:

I was, I was thinking about American cinematographer, like whatever I read in the four years old episode issues, that’s the stuff I’ll have access to today. And that I could actually put in my stuff, because that’s about the time I got, you know cheap enough for me to be able to afford on my sets. But yeah, it’s, it’s fun to look at that. Sorry, I didn’t mean to cut you off there out of art with my stupid joke, but

Art Adams:

That’s fine. That was, that was the biggest point I wanted to make was, you know, mood, mood has a lot to do with contrast, but sometimes talking people into contrast scares them, because I think you want to be safe. Well, some people get really literal looking at a screen. They look at something and they say, I can’t see that. Like, no, no, no. Look at the context of the story. Look at the context of the shot. I actually had an argument with the director one time where someone walks through a shadow and the director said, Oh, no, on playback, go back, back, back, stop. Okay. Right there. I can’t see the person. Well, the person had stopped in the shadow of a, of a post as they walked behind it. And it was maybe a half second. I said, so what the person’s walking through?

Art Adams:

I can’t tell who they are. Well, you saw them when they were on this side of the post. You saw them when they’re on this side of the post, they were only missing for a half second. It was. And I had to change the lighting and fill everything in just to fill in that one shadow. And that’s an extreme example, but I’ve run into that a lot. And it’s really just a great thing. When you can find a director who kind of sees holistically and can just look at an image and go, yeah, that’s perfect. As opposed to going, Oh no, no, that’s too dark. That’s I can’t see into that corner. Well, the actions over here and that’s creating mood. Oh no, no, I still can’t see any of that. Okay. I’ll light it up, you know, so it’s a constant battle and, you know, you ultimately were working for other people and it’s their project and we have to make them happy, but it’s just really a great thing. When you can find someone to work for who kind of gets it and then lets you, they, they tell you what they want and then they let you do it. And then they recognize that you’ve done it.

Justin McAleece:

Yeah. And it’s, it’s, I think that’s one of the important things you can do as a gaffer, as a, as a DP is find ways to talk to the clients that you can hopefully get them to come around to your side mall, making it, making them think of the, it was their idea on something that, you know, like is going to work better. Does anyone have Luke you’re nodding? I mean, who can, who has the best way to get someone who might not be as experienced as you to sort of see like what you’re, where you’re coming from, why you wouldn’t like this person that’s only gonna be in the dark, in the frame for 12 frames.

Luke Seerveld:

Go ahead, go ahead, go ahead. Some battles you can’t win. But you know, I think the, the main thing is it’s a collaborative art. And if, if you can make people feel good about themselves and their decisions then you know, you offer them up and you don’t do it in a sort of, it’s my idea and your idea, but it’s like, Hey, you know, what about, you know, here’s an option. And then here, can I show you this? And and so, you know, if you can do things quickly, and that’s the nice thing about these days with LEDs and with all the control and apps and, and you know, the, having the dimmer packs in the lights now, instead of having that be a whole separate thing, it’s, it’s it’s allowing us just in Les and editing it. It’s allowing us to show different options and we’re playing. I mean, if, if you kind of have that sense on the set that we’re playing professionally and getting it done and making what the client wants, I think everybody feels a lot more comfortable to say that shooting. And COVID on, on a couple of commercials. I’ve been really busy out in Utah with commercials.

Pamela Bloom:

It has been nice, not happy the agency on set. They hate to say it, but so nice. I once had a director was so frustrated with the agency tent, keep coming over and interrupting him. And he turned around and I’ve never seen a director do this. And I don’t advocate this happens, but he was like, you hired me for a reason. I have a look I’m making it happen. So please let me do my job. And I was like, Oh my gosh. And two weeks later he won DGA director, commercial director of the year. So I think he had enough pool to say that, but I personally wouldn’t be able to do that to an agency, but I agree give options you know, teach them, teach your agency and your clients that the monitor is not color corrected. You’re you’re here. You are going to see this in the shadows, or you’re going to see this and that. I think educating my crew or my agency on set has been the most helpful for them to understand my vision and their vision work together.

Justin McAleece:

Yeah. Like Luke was saying, like, I think there’s a, an opportunity because you have such fine control at your fingertips with LEDs, especially it’s like, you, they’re like it’s too bright and you just knock it down a couple percent. And maybe that was plenty. Maybe that was all they really wanted. They just wanted like to say something into the habit done, and that might be enough, Troy or Ian. Do you sort of run into those things? How do you deal with clients that want something that you’re like, I, there’s no way I want to do that. Yeah. I don’t know. I mean, there is, you know, sometimes there’s four clients on set and two of them are lag. Obviously the ones that just got hired and they’re like, want to say something, they need to say something, you know, so there’s all these people like needing to prove their worth in the client world sometimes.

Ian McAleece:

And then that kind of like jumbles up like the process. But, you know, again, like everyone was saying it’s a team effort and educating them on the fact that, you know, that we know the look and the style and like trust us County, you know, I have the privilege privilege and, you know disability of working with the same people for a lot of years. So like, we are like a crew, we know each other. We’re like family sometimes. And yeah, it’s so much fun on set and, you know, we understand each other and we understand our tie to push each other and how to accept things and then where to go for the new exciting thing. But when you so you just have to be you just have to try to get your foot out there and make sure that you don’t get walked all over because the clients sometimes don’t really know what’s good for them at the end of the day, to be quite honest. And you’ve got to keep your, yeah, you got to keep your, your integrity, but also a good cohesive workstation. And you know, what’s the word I’m thinking of compromises. Compromises are life.

Justin McAleece:

Absolutely. Yeah. Anyone else need to shed light on that? Or are we good to move on?

Jose Maria Noriega:

You know, I can throw on something Jose, I guess. Yeah. I, I want to chime in just with the one thing that has been helping me a lot since I was working with light archetypes are very interesting. So for example, for, for people new to production on everything, there are things that are very understandable. The, the song is the, the, the, the main the main source of light all over our lives now. So if you try to emulate the sun, then you are somehow, right. For example, the, that the sky is always a celestial kind of thing. And the, and if you have a light from below, then, then it comes from the, from the Avera, nor from, from, from the infirm. And, and when you, when you think that if you go into artistic kind of work from the renascence and, and the Gothic and all the people that have been doing things with light, I would say that you would get very good, eh, insights about the psychology of how to use light.

Justin McAleece:

Yeah. Can’t underestimate that stuff. So many ideas behind it. And there’s things that have worked for a very, very long time. Absolutely. we are getting close to 41 couple more minutes and then we’ll get to the giveaway and all that stuff. So,

Sarah Marince:

Yeah, absolutely. Yes. We are getting close to our giveaway, so get ready for that. But I was going to, I think it was a question in the chat box and Justin, you just gave some good earth the questions about you just gave some good information, but if people wanted to know how to kind of get into a career like this or courses in classes to kind of dive into this, what, where should they start? What should they do? Like it’s day one. And this is what they want to do, where how do they do it?

Ian McAleece:

Go, go watch Luke’s videos. Luke’s videos are great. Oh, he’s got lots to talk about. I feel like I’m hanging out with Celebrity right now actually, but yeah, go be a PA everyone just still be a PA start off being a PA PA. I mean, always, you never know when that could be a director someday. Yeah.

Luke Seerveld:

The beauty is these days. There’s just so much information. I mean, online and it’s free. I mean, you can, there’s paywalls for stuff. Sure. But there’s just so much to absorb and then, you know, sort of the, the handbooks, like the, you know, set lighting handbook by Harry box and then the fake name. Yeah. And he’s, he’s a wonderful guy. And then there’s a, of course, Alan Stein, Hymers shaping light for video in the age of LEDs and you know, this, one’s got every little thing. And then this is sort of like how to get out there and be the PA that moves into being a electric, PA being a, you know, a grip PA and you know, sort of more hands-on and you kind of stuff. So that’s, that’s the sort of written part. And then so many videos to get into my stuff tends to be, you know, for people that have been around for a little while. So may not be the best place to start.

Justin McAleece:

No, maybe not starting, but there’s, there’s a wealth of knowledge there. And I think too understanding that this world is I got a couple are a little anecdote or whatever. The world is actually not that big when it comes to cinematography and a lot of that, and you have the opportunity to talk to people that, that might know a lot more than you and are very willing to share. There’s a website called red user.net, which I’ve been on forever because I am a re owner and all that in any way someone had posted, like I wanted to know about how this thing was in the latest Spider-Man movie. Can anyone point me to anything? And literally the DP from Spiderman was the next person who answered. It was like, Oh, here’s what I did. And you’re like, that’s crazy. That’s like asking a question. And then the, the president or whoever it happens to be, he’s like, Oh, here’s what I did. Here’s how it goes. And you’re like, that’s awesome. Yeah, so it’s a very small world. Luke, do you know Steve Carboline? Is that his name? He’s up there? Yeah. There’s

Luke Seerveld:

An episode there about them. Yeah.

Justin McAleece:

So that’s crazy. So if anyone’s been on set and they know what a car Delaney is like, that’s a real dude and he lives up in the Bay area and he made this thing that you use on set. And we just sort of assume that this stuff has all been around forever, but a lot of it hasn’t, and these are all dynamic systems that are constantly changing.

Luke Seerveld:

He was a wonderful key grip for years and then would try things. And one of his coolest thing is called a headlock and it’s it’s just a way to get a head onto a Mitchell base. Yeah. It’s just like brilliant, but yeah.

Justin McAleece:

So cool. Yeah. I just don’t stop tinkering and, you know, Ian, I, you answered my brother by the way. So I, I know a lot of his stories, but he knows a guy too that used a light that was just a big bunch of other lights. And that was what he used on set. And that was like how he did a lot of these scenes in, tell me about the Ray beam real quick. The Ray beam. Oh yeah. This guy, Ray pesky, who is like a gaffer on many movies in the nineties. And he made his own light out of just wiring together rows of Cadillac, one K headlights and putting into a three-phase system. And, you know, that’s like on the high end of tinkering around and he just made his own lights and you know yeah, there’s no wrong answer. The point is like, whatever works for you, whatever you can bring to the set that’s like makes it work for you is a, is a good way to approach it. Okay. So we are at the 40 Mark

Justin McAleece:

50 bucks B and H gift certificate. No, no one on here is eligible for that, but everyone else is. Yeah. So everyone needs to go to the shoot stop video page. And do you know what they’re looking for, Sarah?

Sarah Marince:

Yes, I do though. Everyone listen up. We’re going to go to the shoot stop video page, which Blake so kindly put in the chat box a little earlier. And your question for today is when you search for a gaffer on shoot stop video, who displays third. So when you search for a gaffer on shoot stop video, who displays third, make sure to put your answers in the chat box.

Justin McAleece:

There’ll be a pull down menu. You probably, you can type in. I think we got someone already. All right. Who is it? Troy? Who shows up third? Troy tried to, you know, honestly, I don’t know. Well, it’s just looking in the mirror. My man. It’s you that’s that’s silly. Yeah.

Troy Ten Eyck:

I honestly didn’t know that

Justin McAleece:

Troy is the answer and who, who is that first? It looks like Karin Hayes.

Sarah Marince:

Karin congratulations. $50 to BNH. That’s awesome. Yay. Karin and Troy, you are our answer. We have not had that yet where one of our panelists is the answer to the question. So very cool. Well, that was a quick one. But does anybody have any this is always a fun question. Like advice, like personal advice or maybe something that has helped you along the way or this like a little gold nugget of like info from the business that you want to share. Ooh. Okay. Ian, your hand went right up. So you get to go first.

Ian McAleece:

Thank you. Yeah, I’ve asked this question to other people and other people have told me this very simple and easy answer, be a nice person on set and be cool to work with. And that is one of the biggest things, because you know, after a little bit, you can understand light and you can have a style, all these things. Everyone’s got that, but if you’re nice and if you’re respectable and if you are a, have a good attitude and if you’re hardworking and, and all those things and people want to be around you, then

you’re going to get hired more. Yeah, very true.

Troy Ten Eyck:

If I could add to that, I would say we’re, we’re saying that getting on and said as a PA is kind of like the starting ground. I had a PA that kind of got thrown to me as a, as a swing here recently. And he, he sat down on lunch. He wants to be a director and he sat down and asked every head of department what gear they used, why they used it. And yeah, just literally every department, I thought it was so cool that he wants to know the insides and outs and especially aspiring DPS. I highly recommend that you guys spend time in. And because if you’re going to get on some bigger setups where you’re calling for, you know, conduit, cranes and stuff like that, like you need to understand how big of a appeal it’s going to be to your production. How much time it’s going to take for a turnaround when you flip worlds, stuff like that. Like, you really need to understand what you’re asking and, and know how to utilize certain techniques. So anybody who’s wants to be a DP, be a gaffer first,

Luke Seerveld:

Luke, what about you? Well, I was at my five five A’s attitude, aptitude anticipation, attention to detail. And then just a touch of assertiveness, you know, are sort of the five you know, aspects of being a good person. That’s beautiful. Yeah. Anticipation is definitely a big one for me. But those are all equally valid art.

Art Adams:

Oh lots. You know, it’s interesting to see DPS would come up through gapping versus DPS would come through camera because I often see that they have different strengths. You know, that a lot of the times the DPS I’ve seen it come up through gapping. There’ll be really strong at lighting, but maybe not, you know, so much about the camera or lenses or camera moves. Whereas the DPS would come up through assisting well, know more about that kind of stuff, but they’ll rely maybe more on the gaffer. And I think over time they become good at whatever they’re missing, but initially there’s different. What I can, I’ve seen patterns. It’s really interesting. The thing that I found is it’s always good to as a, as a DP and this is true of directors too. It’s not your job to do everything. It’s not your job to know everything. You just need to know where you’re going. So what you need to do is, for example, if I’m working with, with, you know, Luke and you know, I would say, you know, here’s, here’s what I want to do. And here’s how I’m thinking of doing it. Is there a, you know, what do you think? And you know, about half the time Luke would say, well, like, there’s another way to do this. That’ll get you to the same place. So it’ll be faster and cheaper and simpler, and then you kind of go, okay, great. You know, I very quickly learned not to say, you know, I want you to put us Jesus speed rail up there, click the light up and do this and that. And I’d rather, you know, say I need a backlight up there. I need this much power. And I want it to be this much heat.

Art Adams:

I want it to be a little soft and then they would say, yeah, great. You know, I’d say how long, 10 minutes. Perfect. And then I’d see what they would do. And half the time what they did would be something I’ve never seen before, because your crew is working with lots of different people and solving lots of different problems all the time. And you’re just working with you. So it’s always a good idea to tell people what you want. And sometimes you have to be specific and say, the look I want is this light in that spot. And I know that’s going to work, but a fair amount of the time, if you just describe what you want, often your crew will help you get there in a faster, more efficient way. So, and then you learn what that is and then your, your knowledge level goes up and you get the benefit from the fact that they’re working with lots of different people and solving lots of different problems.

Art Adams:

What I’ve also found is that the nicer you order your crew, the more they will have your back. I remember watching a, a DP work when I was an assistant. And he said, okay, I want a 20 by. So, you know, overhead right there. And the key grip would say, well, the sun’s going that way, but no, put it right there. I want it right there. Okay. They put it up, we rolled up one take and then suddenly grip crew, someone out, moving it over, cause the sun’s coming out from mine. So that’s, that’s the other part is, you know, learn to trust your crew and let your crew do their job. Because if you don’t do that, then at some point they’re going to stop saying stuff and they’re going to see that the train coming down the track, you know, you’re going to be looking at the train. They’re going to see the bridges out and they’re not going to say anything. And you really want a crew where you’ve got that kind of relationship where they’re going to say, Hey, you know, the bridge is out. Let me help you with that. And that’s really just the best way to work with the group.

Justin McAleece:

The only it’s super wise, the only time I’ve seen Cruz mutiny, it was for the person’s best interest, whoever they’re mutinying on it’s because they were sort of doing that. They’re like, we’re going to set them up for failure because that’s what he deserves in this situation, because he’s sort of made his own bed. So yeah. I mean, you got to take care of your crew. That’s that’s job one for sure.

Art Adams:

It’s disrespect and it’s taking advantage of the fact that you don’t know everything. And that works at every level, especially with the directors, you know, directors, the best directors I’ve worked with are the ones who said, I don’t have to have every idea. I’m just going to tell you whether you’re right, your idea works or not.

Jose Maria Noriega:

Well this time asks for, for caring and serving. We all are confined and, and trying to innovate the different ways of doing things. And, and the best has been told by everyone off of the panel. Of course, you have to be careful. You have to be humble and you have to serve this is our motto. That, that, that’s what we say. If you care to others and for others things will, will improve. Even in this difficult times that we are having them stay safe and, and take distance and have a mask. This is something that we really need to do right now to, to keep on going and, and doing the fantastic productions that we need.

Justin McAleece:

Yes, absolutely.

Pamela Bloom:

No. Everybody has said exactly what I would say in different words than ways. And it’s been incredible. I started off as an actress, really young, and I was bugging everybody on set. Oh, what does that, what is this? Do you do, what is that for? What’s this? And, you know, a wonderful production manager asked me if I wanted to be a PA on our next step. And I was like, absolutely. And you know, that’s, that’s where I came up and it’s, it’s that eagerness and being a good PA will open so many doors to which direction you want to go in your film career. Absolutely. And Justin, since you know a lot about this area and just film overall, do you want to add anything today?

Justin McAleece:

Oh, shoot. Yeah, yeah. No, I don’t have a D I would say that you know, when every step of filmmaking much about what Art was saying is like, and I’ve, I have to remind myself all the time. It’s like when you’re a writer, you have to give enough information so that the director can take and understand the information so that they can bring their spin to it. When you’re a director, you need to give that to the to the actor so that they can put their spin on it. And it’s the same with the crew. As a DP, maybe you have to put what you want and explain that to them so that your crew members can do that. And then the gaffer and the key grip can do that to the people who are working for them. I think that level of respect at every single level, all throughout the filmmaking process is super important. Not necessarily telling what people, what to do, but telling people what you want to achieve. And I’m always having to remind myself of that and not just be like, I want this here, but say, I want this effect. How can we do that? What’s the best way. Yeah. It’s a creative industry and everyone who’s working in it wants to be creative. So if you’re allowing everyone to be creative in their own little space and they’re going to be a much more value, no.

Sarah Marince:

Well, thank you everyone for all of that advice. And the last thing we do for every crew talk is we go around and everyone just gets to say their name one more time. And your social is like, where we can find you, if you have a website or an Instagram, just the best way to connect, and you can also drop it in that box as well. So Pamela, we’ll go ahead and start with you.

Pamela Bloom:

I work with Roto light. You can find me personally, Pamela Bloom on Instagram, and I’ll put it in the chat and then follow us on Rotolight as well. Cause we’ve got some pretty cool specials over the next few months. As we’re being aggressive, getting more and more lights on set, which is exciting, nice, and art

Art Adams:

Art Adams Former freelance DP, current cinema lens Specialist at Arri, you can reach me by email @lensesatarri.com, easy to find. 

Ian McAleece:

Yeah. you can reach me as my LinkedIn Ian McAleece, LinkedIn, and then also, let’s see, you want to email me personally [email protected]

Jose Maria Noriega:

I’m the marketing officer and chief revenue officer of FluoTec. And you can find those on fluotec all over Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn. We love social media. We are the light Garrison and we are happy to Be here.

Troy Ten Eyck:

Yeah, try it tonight. Teneyckvisuals is my website. You can send me an email there tonight visuals on an Instagram as well. 

Luke Seerveld:

Luke seerveld.com is as a servant lighting site. And then I’m on YouTube. Meet the gaffer and Luke Seerveld on instantagram.

Sarah Marince:

Excellent. Well, thank you all. This was a wonderful panel, very informative. And again, we are going to advertise brick madness everywhere. You got to go watch it yesterday. You want to do a little promo for us.

Justin McAleece:

I was just going to say, I don’t care where you find me. Just find Brick Madness on Amazon prime. Go watch it. And then on Friday we’re also doing a drinking game/chat about the whole movie and and watching it during a watch party. So that’s frozen. It’s funny. I was in it. Totally. He’s not on the front. I’m just totally on the back. A bunch of times. He’s still really funny. He has a couple of the best people, a lot of funny people.

Sarah Marince:

That’s awesome. Well, thank you everyone. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. I’m Sarah Marince @ Sarahmarince.com same on Instagram, LinkedIn, all the fun stuff, and we will see you next time. Have a good night, everyone. Thank you.

 

 

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