Recently I shot a short called “Snag.” It was a 4 day shoot that took place primarily in Hermosa Beach. We shot on EPIC, which was really nice, especially after coming off a feature shot on 5D. It was amazing to look at the waveform and not see it completely stretched on every shot. I got so used to how the waveform looked when shooting with a 5D that I forgot what it was like to shoot with a camera that has some real dynamic range. I remember one shot where we were shooting 3 subjects who were back lit by the setting sun with the ocean way off in the distance. I looked at the image and thought there was no way we were going to retain the detail in the sky/water while still getting proper exposure on the faces. All we brought in was an 8×8 ultra bounce and we were able to get good exposure on the faces while still retaining detail in the water/sky. I looked at the waveform and there was nothing clipping at all, which was amazing. There was no way that would have happened on a DSLR. One of the main shooting locations was a laundry mat in Hermosa (ABOVE LEFT). The scenes in the laundry mat had a ton of characters involved and blocking was heavy. Lighting was a bit of a challenge as the entire place was lit with florescents that we were unable to switch out due to time constraints so we shut them off completely. Although, there was a decent amount of natural daylight coming in on one side as it was completely glass. This helped bring up the ambient level at least on one side. For the few wide shots we had, we pretty much lined the opposing side of the laundry mat with Kinos to bring up the fill side and for tighter shots we tented various sections of the windows to create contrast and shape/control the natural light coming in while supplementing with Kinos for back-lights and fill.
One of the shooting locations that I thought came out really well was an awesome top floor apartment building overlooking the ocean. On the scout I was really concerned about the high contrast and being able to retain the detail of the ocean out the windows while getting enough exposure on the talent inside. We ended up gelling the windows with ND9 and then keying with kinos through light grid. Everything looked great, you could see the beach and the ocean through the windows and we had nice exposure on the talent as well. This was another scene I was really glad we had the EPIC for as its dynamic range really helped out. We also shot a really cool bike chase scene from the back of a van and were able to catch some great sunset shots down at the beach. Overall it was an ambitious shoot with a tough shooting schedule but it felt good that my regular crew was cool enough to come on board and make this happen with me. As always, I’m excited for the next one.