No white balance, no color charts

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    • #95638
      AvatarJack of All


      I have a question that seems obvious, but I have to ask.

      Recently I have found that our field crew has forgone white balancing while shooting in-scene material in many of the shows we produce. I am also seeing lots of poorly exposed shots, even in during set-up scenes where they can take some time to find the best lighting set up. Is this some kind of horrible new trend where quality standards are forgone in the name of expediency?

      I am of the opinion that this is essentially videographer 101, and if it can’t be manage these things then you should just stay home. I can’t figure out how the DOP isn’t looking at dailies and not having a full blown rage-stroke over this. Is this crazy?


    • #216283

      Well, if it were my crew I would start out by telling them what I expected of them. If they failed to deliver I would replace the crew. For me, poor acquisition is unacceptable a second time. I can’t imagine how a competent DP could look at the monitor before the shoot and accept what you describe.

      Quality standards must be learned and fully understood. In this era, much given to believing that anyone who buys a camcorder and a couple of lights and mics becomes a “film maker,” it’s not too surprising to find poorly exposed and composed footage. You have only to look at a sampling of YouTube to realize that niceties such as white balance, composition that focuses our attention in the frame, lighting that enhances beyond mere illumination are lost on many so-called videographers. They don’t know any better and someone must teach them. In the case of a field crew I would hope this would be the DP, refusing to allow poor quality prep and acquisition.

      I have found that quality standards in the field are often allowed to slide in favor of anticipating that poor acquisition can always be “fixed in post.” To take some of the pressure off of field crews I always tell the client that lighting and audio take time, that the client must relax and let the crew do its job. Instant gratification and good lighting do not go hand in hand. But there’s no excuse for failure to white balance, and adjust exposure.

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