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Shooting a night club commercial, PMW-EX1

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Marcus Perfjell
Shooting a night club commercial, PMW-EX1
on Jan 17, 2010 at 8:05:56 pm

Hi guys, saw som older posts about this but nothing new. Please correct me if I'm wrong!

A friend of mine just asked me if I could shoot a night club of his and do some sort of promotion video to put on youtube and facebook, to get people to come there.

The night club is half night club and half lounge, the ground floor of the building (the night club) has many various lights, everything from regular disco lights to rotating lazer lights. The upper part is sort of soft lit in purple, pink and yellow (the lounge area).

Since it's a night club, it's poorly lit and probably very hard to get good pictures.
I'm shooting with a Sony PMW-EX1, it's decent in low light situations but in a night club like this I really need good HD quality.

If you do know any good settings for the camera, please post, or if you think I need some kind of extra gear, like filters, light panel for peoples faces etc feel free to say so!

I am thinking of making or renting some sort of steadi cam to shoot bartenders flipping bottles and people dancing.

Do you have tips for a story? I was thinking maybe making three or four short stories, like an old couple having dinner, a couple of friends at a bar, some people in the ski slopes (the night club is located in a ski area), then having the same people at the night club, an "everybody meets here" sort of thing. Please give tips.

Best regards
Marcus

The fall of building 7 is a bit weird.


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Don Greening
Re: Shooting a night club commercial, PMW-EX1
on Jan 17, 2010 at 9:24:46 pm

[Marcus Perfjell] "If you do know any good settings for the camera, please post, or if you think I need some kind of extra gear, like filters, light panel for peoples faces etc feel free to say so! "

As you probably already know, shooting interlaced will give the the best low light sensitivity but shooting progressive is better if you're going straight to the web. As far as camera picture profiles go, I try to shoot clean and do any effects in post. For outside skiing use a circular polarizer filter and your camera's internal ND filters but that's it for external add on filtration. If you're shooting the night club windows from outside during the day the circ. pol. will reject window reflections and saturate the colours a bit.

Inside lighting will be a big mix of standard and coloured. I would W/B with a standard non-coloured light source and then during shooting let the coloured lighting affect the shot just as they normally would. Don't try and compensate for the different room lighting situations you will inevitably encounter because you'll end up with a ton of colour correction in post you don't need to do.

If you have the budget for auxiliary lighting use the proper gels to match the practicals then you have to stick a white board in the subject's face and do a man. W/B before each shot.

Using a steadicam would be nice if you already know how to use one but the rental might not justify the end result. By that I mean you can get some decent steady hand-held shots with your EX1 as long as the shots are short, timewise, and you're willing to hold the camera properly to get those shots.

Any other recommendations would depend on your friend's budget.

Just a friendly reminder about cross-posting to other forums: No one minds if you do but please name the other forums in your post so others can check and make sure they're not giving the exact same answer that someone else did.

- Don



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Will Griffith
completely different suggestion.
on Jan 18, 2010 at 3:05:54 am

For b-roll I would definitely use a Canon 7D or similar and a fast lens.
There really is no better solution for the price and a club or other
low light situation.

There are limitations to the camera, and the EX series basically kills
it in many other ways, but you will love the look and color you get
in a a dark room with colored lights on a SLR.

here is an example someone shot in a club...
http://www.vimeo.com/8397060


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Tom Daigon
Re: completely different suggestion.
on Jan 18, 2010 at 5:49:48 pm

"For b-roll I would definitely use a Canon 7D or similar and a fast lens.
There really is no better solution for the price and a club or other
low light situation."

Actually there is a better solution...the 5d. It has a larger sensor and
thus a greater ability to look great in low light conditions without the noise you may get from using the 7D with a faster ISO to compensate for its smaller sensor. Better DOF also, if that is important to you. ;-)

Avid DS/FCP Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com


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Marcus Perfjell
Re: completely different suggestion.
on Jan 18, 2010 at 7:54:27 pm

I don't have any of the canon cameras only the PMW. Hard to rent one when up in the mountains:P

Liked your link though

The fall of building 7 is a bit weird.


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Marcus Perfjell
Re: Shooting a night club commercial, PMW-EX1
on Jan 18, 2010 at 7:52:31 pm

Thank you so much for your quick respond!

Basically my friend just told me "do you think you can do a commercial for the night club", and I said, I'll look in to it. So the budget is probably none, other than my payment, I could probably tell him what I need, and see if it's possible to get, but i doubt it.


The steadi cam, I was thinking of using my tripod as one, it's free and works ok for a short amount of time. What do you think?

thanks for the tip with the window of the nightclub, I have a polarizing filter, but with it on, I can't use my "sun blocking matte box that came with the camera" (sorry for not knowing the name, and my english), the Polarizing filter is too big, and even with the "matte box" on I cant' twist the filter..

I will try shooting in the snow tomorrow without the matte box but with the filter, and see how it turns out, I'll let you know.

Do you know any in camera settings to make the PMW-EX1 more light sensitive?

I'll think about what you said about cross-posting!
thanks again!
Marcus

The fall of building 7 is a bit weird.


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Don Greening
Re: Shooting a night club commercial, PMW-EX1
on Jan 18, 2010 at 9:18:11 pm

[Marcus Perfjell] "Do you know any in camera settings to make the PMW-EX1 more light sensitive? "

I'm not the one to ask about that because if I need more light I use a lighting kit or an on-camera light. But I suspect that other than shooting interlaced or cranking up the picture gain there isn't much else you can do. The EX picture profiles are there to change the contrast, colours and colour balance but don't have much effect on the low light sensitivity.

Alister Chapman from the UK drops in here from time to time and I believe is experimenting with picture profiles. I think he is working on one for night shooting but hasn't published it yet. But you want an answer today and I don't have one for you.

[Marcus Perfjell] "The steadi cam, I was thinking of using my tripod as one, it's free and works ok for a short amount of time. What do you think?"

Use everything at your disposal, including some shots on a tripod, indoors and outdoors. I've learned to shoot way more stuff than you'll think you'll need because at the end of the day (project) you'll use have used it all. You can even use your EX handheld and get some very steady shots if you hold it right.
Twist the handgrip to taste, put your left hand palm up underneath the camera tripod plate and jam your right eye hard into the VF rubber cup. These 3 points anchor the camera to you and makes for a very stable shooting platform for short periods. Now use your left eye to look at the flip-out LCD screen while the fingers of your left hand are free to adjust the focus and iris rings.

If you want to rent a glide cam don't go too light. I've found that something like a Glide Cam 4000 series is just about perfect for the EX1 or EX3 cameras.

- Don



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