Lawrence Le

Director of Photography

Big Al & Blue Room

Thanks for checking this out!

On Big Al, I had an AC, Gaffer (who also was the Dolly Grip), and a Grip PA.  Camera package was my Red Monstro in 5K S35 mode with a Cooke Varotal 18-100mm T3.  AC had remote video & focus.  We rented a Chapman Super Peewee III with a 24″ slider and 22′ of track (two 8′, one 4′, one 2′).  

For both Big Al spots, in the matte box we had a Polarizer & 1/4 Soft FX.  I wasn’t planning on using the Soft FX since I thought the lens was pretty soft and low-contrast at a T3, but the director requested it.

The plan was to shoot one spot before lunch, and one spot after lunch.  Here are some location photos:

This was actually the first time I’ve had the opportunity to operate on a ‘real’ camera dolly, and I wanted to try to ‘live on the dolly’ (also why I got the big zoom lens).  

Big Al “Office” Spot

For the “Office” spot, I kept on the house lights and blacked out the daylight ambiance.  I used a Creamsource Vortex8 as a 3/4 backlight over the entire set.  I had a Litemat 2L up against the wall behind camera as an eyelight/fill.  I also bounced titan tubes around as needed.  Camera was set to ISO 800, 3700K, -5 green tint.  Looking at the footage in Davinci Resolve, I graded the clips cooler and even less green.

“Office” Lighting Diagram

I had two setups- the dolly track going side to side, then the track going up/down the hall where they walked. Occasionally, the actors did kick the track, and I was not sure if there was anything to do about it lol.

Establishing Master
Tracking Back

Big Al “Breakroom” Spot

For the “Breakroom” spot, we only needed one track setup. I blacked out 2 of the 3 doors behind camera, while putting a 1/2 grid diffusion over the leftmost door. Behind this diffusion, we put a Vortex8 to augment the sun as it moved. Off the ceiling, we rigged a Litemat 2L and a 2Bank of Titan tubes. Camera was set to ISO 800, 4700K, -5 minus green.

Master Wide

Blue Room

The second shoot I had last week was a shoestring-budget music video that we filmed from 6pm to midnight. Another half day shoot, but this time the crew was just the director and me.

Again on the Monstro, but shooting in 8k VistaVision mode with Leica-R’s. The filter stack had a Rota-Pola, 1/4 Black Promist, and a sunburst filter. I used a cyan-orange LUT, and also lifted the blacks using the on-camera CDL settings. To keep things simple for a project like this, I set the Monstro to output 2K Prores files with the look completely burned-in (the screengrabs & videos below are straight from camera w/ no grade). [The camera is set to utilize the full 8K sensor size, but it downscales in-camera to a 2k prores file.]

For lighting I brought Astera Titan tubes, Helios Tubes, and AX9’s. The AX9’s are basically RGB Pars, but they use the Titan Light Engine so the color exactly matches the Titan Tubes and they also have a built-in battery. Basically Titan tubes in a Par fixture. My thought was to take advantage of battery-powered lights since we were only scheduled for 6hrs. With the tubes I also had Light Socks and LCD’s.

We mostly shot in story order, and only did 1 or 2 takes if we got it. Of course, the sun set partway through the evening, but we figured it would be intercut with performance and show passage of time.

For the “fight scene” I used a 90° shutter and introduced extra camera movement to try to create a sense of chaos, even though the talent were generally moving at a fairly controlled pace for safety reasons.

Establishing Wide
Phone Shot
Fight 1
Fight 2
Slo Mo Falling Money
Reflection Shot

Anyways, David, thanks for reading!!