“We’ll fix it in post” is a phrase that I loathe. There is a reason that a Director, and DP want a good “Grip” on set with them. That individual, or team of lighting techs will make or break the quality of your film. I don’t care how good your post production team is, if the lighting sucked or was flat when the film was shot all the post production in the world won’t bring the image to life.
The video from Order & Otherbelow is a great example of lighting done right. There is drama, atmosphere, contrast and a variable balance to the lighting. The DP used the lighting to create atmosphere that can’t be created in post production, and it is one of the key elements that makes this film work. Along with great lighting, there is atmosphere, and by that I mean there is stuff in the air, particulate matter that ads weight to environment. That atmosphere is something you rally can’t ad in post either.
Below are two interesting films from camera accessory maker Zacuto. They are from the “Great Camera Shootout” for 2012, and folks the results are really interesting. In the audience is Francis Ford Coppola, along with a number of other industry pros. They were shown eight short films each shot with a different camera and then asked to choose the best of the eight. They were not told in advance which cameras were used on each film.
The cameras used in the shootout included a Panasonic GH2, Sony F65, Red Epic, Canon C300 and Arri Alexa. The price range goes from less than a grand for the GH2 to around $75,000 for the Sony F65. Now here is the the kicker, that GH2 won. It is chosen more by this group of pros than any other camera. So does this mean it is a better camera than the F65? not necessarily. What it does mean is that the technology is getting so good, that in the right hands, a small crew can get some seriously amazing results. I continue to say this, and I will repeat it as long as I can breath. The gear you use will not make you more talented, it only helps improve the end result of your work. If you have the skills you can create magic even with an enthusiast level camera.
Watch these and be inspired. The industry is changing and you can make some magic too.