This is an excerpt from Hurlbut Visuals, one of the most knowledgeable bloggers in the film industry. Shane Hurlbut, ASC and his elite team test new products and experiment with innovative techniques. In the blog shown here, Hurlbut describes a remarkable solution to a problem familiar to every filmmaking professional: efficiently creating digital images that balance the indoor lighting with the outdoor light.
To see the entire blog, please go to http://www.hurlbutvisuals.com/blog/2012/09/rosco-view-new-frontier-tools/
“Balancing the inside with the outside”
“As a cinematographer, one of the challenges of shooting on location is dealing with Mother Nature, and she can kick your butt. Especially with the new digital age, balancing your inside light with your outside light has become even more important. Nothing gives away a digital looking image more than clippy, blown out windows.
“On Deadfall, for example, I had to shoot on location in a house as we did not have the budget to build on stage. The light had to be late afternoon, dusk, dawn, twilight and night for 28 pages. This was a daunting task for me and my crew!
“Bring out the Gel and the Staple Guns”
“To create twilight in the middle of the day, my team had to put layers of Rosco Neutral Density along with 117 Steel Blue to bring the daylight outside down to a 1.4. Then I would shoot around a 2.0 to 2.8. We had tons of windows. We spent thousands of dollars, along with hours and hours of overtime, and added crew to do this.
“When the light would drop outside, we would have to start taking some ND off to keep the 1.4 balance — time consuming and wasted energy.
“SMASH CUT to Rosco VIEW, which is the use of two polarizing filters, one on the windows and the other on the camera. Imagine if the sun goes into the clouds. With the old way, we would have to wait until the sun came back out so that our stop remained the same. Sometimes this can take 20 to 30 minutes.
“With Rosco VIEW, all you do is rotate the pola on the camera, which syncs up with the polarizing filter that your grip team has affixed to your windows, and VOILA!! BAM!!!! You are ready to shoot. Just like an ND fader, you are cross fading the two polas and either bringing the outside up in stop or down with the ease of just turning the pola on your camera. THIS IS HUGE!!!!!! This single device has increased my speed on location tenfold.
(All images and video via www.hurlbutvisuals.com)
“This is a game changing device for balancing day exterior and interior shots. Notice in the example how I took a blown out exterior and dialed it in to be balanced or completely dark for a night exterior look with the skin tones unaffected. You only lose roughly 1 stop of light from the gel and 1 stop from the filter which isn’t a problem shooting day interiors and exteriors.
“Their pola is essential for this process to work. Please do not try this with others. The effect could change colors as well as affect people’s face reflections. This one does not. I cannot wait to employ this one on my next project. Whoa, wait a minute. I just did, but in a way that I think Rosco never imagined.”
Shane’s Hurlblog continues to explain how he creatively used Rosco VIEW to control the lighting onboard a 787 Dreamliner for a Boeing project he worked on. Not only was he able to make the airplane’s window darker – but he also used Rosco VIEW to control the brightness of the light on the actor’s faces by using Rosco VIEW as a dimming system for his HMI’s.