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Oscar Deflorez
day for night
on Mar 19, 2007 at 3:45:39 pm

Thank you in advance for anyone's ideas on this.
I want to shoot a short with a panasonic 3chip 1/2" DVC200 ENG cam. Don't have a mat box for 4X4s. Given the limited res I have I don't want to degrade it in post with color correction if I don't have to - prefer infront of the lense. Does anyone know of a day for night filter that will fit my 62mm eng lense? I have read somewhere that day for night is built from ND and aqua marine - could I build this combining round filters possibly? Or what about tinkering with in camera settings? Any ideas appreciated. Thanks.


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edward  chick
Re: day for night
on Mar 19, 2007 at 9:14:42 pm

There is no such thing as a "day for night" filter. You could use nd filters stacked together or a polarizer, then underexpose.


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Steve Wargo
Re: day for night
on Mar 20, 2007 at 6:13:35 pm

Excuse me! So are you saying that the "Day for Night" filters sold by Tiffen and Schneider are fake? I guess I'll need to apply for a refund.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona

It's a dry heat!


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edward  chick
Re: day for night
on Mar 21, 2007 at 4:02:14 am

Actually this is the first I have ever heard of such a filter. How does it compare to the tried and true methods? No excusing necessary:)

edward chick


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Steve Wargo
Re: day for night
on Mar 23, 2007 at 8:58:32 am

The filter is a quick and dirty way to pull it off but they actually work. I think there's an explanation on Tiffen's website. If we are doing it for our self, we shoot a stop or two down at dusk and adjust it with the color corrector in post. If I'm doing it for someone without experience in color timing, I use the filter. We darken it in post and use a blue enhancement.

Avoid shooting the sky. Shadows are ok because it will look like a full moon. To experiment, shoot something outside at night during a full moon using the cameras 3200 white balance. Now, shoot something at dusk and color correct it. Do a split screen and match the two. Some color correctors have a day for night preset, I think.

This subject was covered in an HBO First Look about "Escape from LA".

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona

It's a dry heat!


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oscar deflorez
Re: day for night
on Mar 23, 2007 at 1:09:52 pm

Good idea Steve, thank you. I am going to have to get an ND to test that out. I have never needed ND because of course it is built into my camera for the 56K setting (which is the only time you need one). I have wondered if I could create this effect taking advantage of the in-camera color altering abilities of the digital image system. Just speculating - I wonder how close the 32K filter is to the blue tint used for day-for-night? Do you know? What's your opinion on adding correction in post with regards to the fact that I'm using SD on an ENG. I'm afraid to mash up my limited pixel count and using Premier.


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rmherd
Re: day for night
on Mar 20, 2007 at 12:04:54 am

Be sure to get an insert shot of the moon. Human psychology goes a long way to create the illusion, to suspend disbelief. To complement that illusion stop down until the blacks are really black.

RH


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David Roth Weiss
Re: day for night
on Mar 22, 2007 at 6:02:10 pm

Oscar,

Classic day for night requires that you stop down several stops below normal exposure (ND filters will work), and add a deep blue filter. This extracts the reds from the scene, which are the first colors in the visible spectrum that human eyes can no longer perceive as light levels diminish. Also, make certain to shoot everything from a high angle, avoiding the sky at all costs, as shooting the sky will give your trick away everytime. As has been mentioned, a moon sells it well, and don't forget to add cricket sound efx.

DRW


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Oscar Deflorez
Re: day for night
on Mar 22, 2007 at 8:49:15 pm

Thank you David for your indepth explanation. I figured it could be broken down in some way or another. I don't know if your familiar with Tim Burton's Sleep Hollow, but that was shot day for night and it gave it a really interesting look. You mentioned that the blue filter will cancel out reds. I did notice that in this film there is an underexposed, bluish tinge to the film, there seems to be no green and the reds definately pop off the screen. Any comments? Thanks.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: day for night
on Mar 22, 2007 at 9:29:42 pm

Oscar,

Its been a long time since I saw Sleepy Hollow, but as I recall, that film had many separate elements composited together. The skies and BGs in almost every scene were added after the fact, and I'm certain the color was manipulated in post rather than in the camera. Using in-camera day for night techniques it would be next to imposiible to make reds pop.

DRW


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Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
Re: day for night
on Mar 23, 2007 at 10:24:04 pm

Since SOOOO much of this can be done in post these days, if I were shooting any day-for-night stuff I think I might get a few unfiltered normal-exposure takes as well.

Watch the behind-the-scenes stuff from Zumeckis' "Cast Away." All of the nighttime "on the beach" stuff with Tom Hanks was shot in broad daylight... harsh sun, in fact... judging from the raw footage it didn't look like it had any special filtration on it, and it certainly wasn't underexposed. But dang it if it didn't look just like moonlight once they finished working on it.

T2


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Steve Wargo
Re: day for night
on Mar 26, 2007 at 6:11:39 am

When you're using a Hollywood level color timing system, like a Divinci, one can perform miracles. On the budget that the average guy has, there are some compromises.

I would do as earlier suggested and grab some daylight stuff and start adjusting things. We did a shoot in a cemetary in Mexico that the director decided later would look cool if it was a night shot. We did it in Combustion and it only took 20 minutes to come up with the right image.

We tried that same thing in the FCP color corrector and it did not work as well for some reason.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona

It's a dry heat!


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Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
Re: day for night
on Mar 26, 2007 at 2:33:47 pm

[Steve Wargo] "When you're using a Hollywood level color timing system, like a Divinci, one can perform miracles"

Yeppers, but it's not limited to "Hollywood level." At the post house where we do 35mm telecine, they do tons of tape-to-tape correction in their DaVinci Renaissance suite as well. For some people, even those on a budget, the scene could easily be worth the couple of hundred bucks that it would cost to get a professional colorist to work on it.

I'm all for saving money, and doing it myself... but I also know there are other people out there that certainly more specialized than me and I try to take advantage of that when I can. And sometimes time is worth more than money.

T2


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