Need help in all aspects of my short, starting here.

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    • #36639

      I just finished writing a short for fun and was going to start shooting for it. I have all my actors, there are only three. There is a lot of sand (not beach) in this short.

      I need to get an upwards shot of a shovel full of dry sand being removed from the ground to reveal the main actor in focus. I obviously don’t have the budget to bury myself in a glass coffin or anything, but I need that shot.

      secondly, I need a way to simulate piles of dirt mounding up in the background over a series of shots. I won’t have the time to actually dig dirt up to make these piles, besides, they get pretty high. I need to figure out a practical and non-cgi (I only have basic editing software to use) way to get this effect.

      thirdly, this whole thing takes place outdoors in bright sun. i’ve heard there could be problems with that and wanted to know what could be done to compensate for it.

      Fourthly, I need to get a shot which pulls back to reveal that these piles of dirt are actually part of huge mountains of sand stretching off into the distance. Again I have to do this optically, with no money involved.

      Fifthly, and probably most important to you guys is, I’m using an Optura 60. I have a wide-angle lense,ND filter, Uv filter, shotgun mic (though the sound doesn’t matter for this too much), external moniter, etc. All the stuff people have suggested to me before.

      The video is only going to be, like, a minute or two long, but I want it to look as much like film as possible.

      Is any of this feasible? Am i out of my mind? can i do any of this without damaging my lenses or camera? please help.

    • #162890

      It’s really not that complicated sounding.

      I’ve used that camera before, not to make a film, but…
      It sounds like you went out and bought a whole load of toys, No?

      Have you thought about shooting in a quarry? (sp) It might have the location types you mentioned. I’ve got some ideas on what effect you’re attemting to accomplish with the shots you mentioned. Here they are:

      1. If you’re looking to reveal your subject from black to shovel lifting dirt away with subject in light then you’ll have to do something like this. Build a box or use 2 cardboard boxes taped bottom to bottom. Cut a hole in the box bottoms, leaving a one to two inch lip on all sides. Place a piece of plexiglass, or glass, into the space between the boxes and duct-tape it in place for stability. [Tip — Spray paint the boxes black on the inside before inserting the glass.] next cut an arc in one side of one of the boxes. staple a dark piece of cloth to this arc. Place sand in the top box leaving a space in the middle of the glass open. Have your subject stand on an apple box or something to place his or her feet level with six inches above the glass. Climb under the box through the arc and drape the cloth around your torso blocking all light from entering under the glass. Instead of risking the glass by covering it with dirt and shoveling off the glass, think about shooting it for reverse. This could be done by placing the sand in a circle opening the center of you frame. Have your actor stand in frame and focus on hime or her adjusting for lighting, etc. then have the subject take a shovel full of sand and place it over the open circle obscuring the light. This will look best if the sand can be manipulated in such a way as to avoid particles falling off the shovel (otherwise the reverse will look lke a vaccumm cleaner). if you mix equal parts of water and elmer’s glue the soak you sand whith that and let it dry. Get a shovel full of that and no matter what you do with the sand it should look decent both ways. Use your viewfinder and not the lcd screen when shooting.

      2. You asked something about piles mounding up in back. I thought of something that might work for that. (though I’m not entirely clear on what you’re looking for) If you make some elmers glue/water like I mentioned above you could soak some white bedsheets in it and spread sand on their surface. When they dry you could drape them on the ground and every new shot just lift them higher with random objects. That should create a convincing enough background if you mess with you depth of field to blur the background.

      3. I’m forgetting now, but I think you asked for a shot that sounded like a classic zoom out to reveal landscape type shot. If you shot in a quarry that wouldn’t be a problem.

    • #162891

      thanx both for the suggestions…

      I’m using Premier elements for editing (i told you it was basic). I’ve not yet played with it garbage matte, I’ll have to check and see if it has one.

      Dang, Jonathan, that was a lot of writing. I’ve looked around and although there is a quarry about 5 miles or so from my house, the shots are supposed to take place in somebody’s backyard. The final shot is sort of a comedic reveal of an impossible amount of sand in the backyard. If I can do it, I’ll try compusolver’s suggestion of using a photoshop elements edited still.

      That first suggestion seemed feasible, I guess no matter what I do, i’ll have to experiment. I’ve found ace hardware great for grabbing random things like that plexiglass you talked about. I’m not sure whether the glue thing sounds right or not though.

      umm, one other question I had is… Is there anyway to protect my wideangle lense from getting dirt on it. the end doesn’t have a place to screw in a filter or anything. would it be stupid to build a protective matte box, like thing?

    • #162892

      How about building a miniture of the back yard? Then you could get away with 50lbs of sand. Do a very high overhead shot of your digger on a green screen then you can add him into the miniture in post.

      For the under the ground shot, maybe an aquarium would work. The potential problem for that shot is the shovel may scratch the glass or plexiglass. You might try putting some black “Polyshield” on the sharp edge of the shovel for this shot. Polysheild is a liquid type rubber that is normally used to coat the handles of tools. You just dip it in there and it dries to a solid rubber.

      Good Luck!


    • #162893

      Dan Selakovich Wrote:

      For the under the ground shot, maybe an aquarium would work. The potential problem for that shot is the shovel may scratch the glass or plexiglass.

      Or use a mirror.

    • #162894

      Flippin’ A
      Whatever happened with this?

      I put far to much time and thought into that post up there, dang.

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