View Full Version : Tips on contrasty, dark nature scene?

08-10-2010, 01:50 PM
Hey guys, autumn has come before I've even realized it, meaning I need to get a shot done soon as possible (or else it won't be availible for another year!)

Basically, I'm shooting an artistic horror film with a few important outside shots. The main scene I'm worried about at the moment is the intro, which has the main character, a very unique and intelligent looking girl, strolling through a forest and a set of fields. The feel is late noon, almost sunset, and although the mood is curious, there are supposed to be slight tinges that set it toward a dark, but artistic, direction. There are shots like; a. the girl is sitting on a blanket about a foot away from the lens view, with blurred blades of grass coming up before the blanket, the focus clear on her body and face, with an angelic blur around her headline, and of coarse the trees in the distant background out of focus. b. the girl is lying on a round hay bail and the shot of her is straight down from a camera about 20 feet in the air while the title appears next to her in handwriting script c. the character is deciphering her way through some trees, touching each one of them while the sun glares through the trees in the background of the scene, d. the girl runs up and hugs a specific tree with her and her boyfriend's innitials carved in it...ect ect.

The thing is, with more research, I'd feel comfortable doing these scenes, but since now is the deadline, I have to get this done right now (the rest of the film is filmed inside a building so no time frame there.) My main problem is worrying about how to get the scene to look, color wise, how I want. I really don't know which preset to use; should I use one that straight-away gives me the look I want in camera? Or should a use a flat style preset that gives me options in post? I just don't know how to get a mechanically great colored picture from the camera as it'd take ages to test every single option. I also want whatever option reduces noise and harshness the most. Again, although I by no means know anything about editing, I do want to film this in whatever would give me options (but nothing that requires hacking and HTML afterward, if you know what I mean.)

Also, with the naturally harsh tone of whatever footage comes from a camera, would you suggest I use any softness filters, or even artistic things such as Lensbaby products? I am looking for characteristics to my shots...nothing overdone, but something to the point it looks a little different from camcorder material. None of these shots will be super close macro style (as I have to get the characters whole body in the shot), the shots will be generally open and large, so I figure that help from these products wouldn't hurt, but I'd love suggestions on what or what not to do. Lens suggestions would be great as well, what would give more cinematic footage from the shots described above, a wide angle lens close up to the subject (35-55?), or a zoom lens semi-close-up to the subject (anywhere from 55-200mm)? I'd want something possibly slightly round to add character, nothing super flat looking (no documentary style stuff.)

Also, it's very important to me to do what's best for the final product to be displayed on theater screens, this film is a very important in my career, I want to do everything possible to ensure the best.And I feel like as time goes by, I'll be prepared for it, but for this opening shot that I have to film right now =/, I truly feel so overwhelmed by the options and I would like some help!

Thank you!