Tag: Canada

Top 5 Lighting Techniques

One of the most important tools in staging a scene is lighting. Lighting develops the mood and setting in any production. It captures the audience and draws them into the storyline just by looking at the scene and the lighting techniques that are used.

This post will highlight the top 5 lighting techniques used in film production and their purposes for a scene.

Number 1: Soft Lighting

Soft lighting is commonly used for its aesthetically pleasing effect. It eliminates shadows and recreates subtle shades of light that has no strict definition of a light source. The purpose is to make the subject or object look less harsh. An example of this technique would be in the movie Restless (2011) where you can notice the soft light with no clear distinction between light and shadows, and has a calming effect.

Number 2: Hard Lighting

Hard lighting uses a direct beam from a light source or from the sunlight. This lighting creates shadows and harsh lines. It can also create silhouettes and highlights. An example would be in the movie The Dark Knight (2008) with the harsh tones of the subjects faces and the overlapping shadows to add to the mood of the scene and the intensity of the character.

Number 3: Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting, also known as “practical” lighting, consists of the lights that are present and natural, so this could be sunlight, lamplight, or an overhead light. Ambient lighting can add depth and dimension to a scene if used cleverly. It can also add a sense of realism to the scene that draws the viewers attention. You need to account for ambient light, especially when shooting outside.

Number 4: Three Point Lighting

Three point lighting is a media standard form of lighting, as in it is highly used in all forms of media such as film, video, and photography. Three point lighting includes key light, fill light, and a back light.

The key light is the primary light source. It is the most intense and direct light in the scene. The key light will illuminate the form of the object or actor. Secondly, the fill light cancels out the shadows created by the ket light. It adds softness to the shadows. Lastly, the back light hits an actor or object from behind. This is used to separate the object or actor from the background.

Number 5: Motivated Lighting

Motivated light seeks to imitate natural light sources, such as sunlight, moonlight, street lights, head lights and more. This technique is used to emphasize the natural lights effect to help set the story or scene. It allows the audience to believe the world that is being presented.

Lighting as a whole is complex and broad. There is so much terminology and techniques that even choosing the top most common techniques was difficult because everyone has their own interpretation. This post was a simple introductory article about the diverse world of lighting in media, specifically in film.

Subtle Camera Work In The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 5 Episode 2 “Ballet” SPOILERS!

An intense start to season 5 of the Handmaid’s Tale, Fred is dead, June is back home in Canada with her family, and Serena is trying to take a stand after her husbands death. What will happen next now that June’s villain is gone?

I was recently watching this season and was moved by how brilliant Elisabeth Moss is as an actress and a director. One specific moment that caught my attention is Fred’s funeral in episode 2 “Ballet” and not just because he is now officially gone. During this scene, the crew added some very subtle details that develop the characters into who they will be in this season but also shocking camera work that had me thinking about it for days.

The costumes were a minor identifier to Serena and Junes characters in this episode. Serena, with her all black attire, representing the bad or evil. June, with her stunning white dress, representing the good. This choice was to establish the roles these women will play, and the conflicts of good vs evil, angel vs devil. This leads into who Serena will become this season.

Another topic I wanted to cover is the end of the funeral scene. Now the funeral was originally supposed to be small and quiet, but Serena demanded the best for her husband, so she suggested a lavish, globally broadcasted affair, for those to witness what Gilead is like to the whole world. Remorseful, merciful, human. Serena walks behind the casket, looking regal and sorrowful. This whole event choreographed for her to look like she has control. Serena does care about her husband, but it is important to note that she had her own motives for this funeral. Mostly for it to pose as a form of revenge.

While the funeral continues, June and Luke are enjoying a day of normalcy. A chance to breathe before their world comes crashing down.

By the end of this episode, we see June and Luke staring up at the broadcast at Yonge-Dundas Square, watching as Serena kisses a young girls forehead. That girl being Hannah, June’s daughter.

This moment had me reeling. I could practically feel Junes anger and desperation through the screen. Now the moment that I want to highlight is at the very end where we see Serena subtly looking down with a smirk, while June is looking up with pure rage on her face. Almost as if they are looking directly at each other.

 

The camera work was brilliant for this scene, it creates mood and displays the shift in power and control between Serena and June. These angles are a psychological manipulator that manipulates our perception. So this camera technique is a low-angle shot, from Serena’s perspective, with a high-angle shot, from June’s perspective. These methods are commonly used in a scene when you want to portray a specific power dynamic between the characters. The person looking down, using a low-angle shot, would seem strong or powerful while the person looking up, using a high-angle shot, would seem vulnerable or powerless. So this angle gives Serena strength, it shows the audience that Serena is something to fear. June, in this moment, is powerless against Serena. She has no control.

Executive producer Warren Littlefield said when talking about this scene, “Serena Joy’s stepping in and getting on the throne, and she’s masterful. She’s powerful. She’s a great chess player.” Further proving that the villain of this season is Serena. Slowly making her way to power by sharing the benefits of Gilead with the rest of this world.

I have not watched the rest of the season, but I am excited to see what other masterful scenes Elisabeth Moss made. Also what the rest of season will bring.

Battery Operated Lighting Options

Calling all filmmakers, photographers, hairstylists and party starters! Have you ever needed a wireless light to brighten a subject? To light a party? Well we have the products for you. This video showcases various options for battery operated lights to suit any of your needs. These lights are perfect for when you don’t have an outlet near by, or for on the go shootings. All the links for the battery operated lights we carry are available below.

Links:

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Finding the Perfect Light Stand for You

Here at Big City we have a lot of stands, all with different sizes and weights. From tall ones to short rolling ones. We have anything to fit you film or photo needs. Links to all the stands shown in this video are below.

All the stands we carry.

 

A Better & Thinner Soft-box Light

Calling all you photographers and filmmakers! Are you tried of constantly having to setup your big, thick and bulky soft-box lights? Do you want dimming and colour temperature controls too? We here at Big City we have the lights for you! These soft-box lights are 3 inches thick (at the knob, 2 inches rest of fixture) and completely LED, hows that for convenience?  All the pricing and availability is linked below.

Links:

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Samsung Galaxy S10 | Everything you need?

The new Samsung Galaxy S10 was announced on February 20th, 2019. This phone comes packed with everything ‘new’ you could ask for here in 2019. Samsung hasn’t been a fan of the ‘notch’ design trend and can now say they never were part of it. The s10 comes with a 93:1 screen to body ratio, with a camera cut out on the top. Its finger print sensor, *cough cough Apple*, is indebted into the screen. Did I mention it has a total of 4 cameras?

Samsung’s camera game is through the roof, with 3 rear cameras and 1 for the selfie. Many people wonder why smartphones are getting more cameras side by side. The answer is that it allows for more depth when taking a photo. Having those cameras will not only give better perspective and picture quality, it will also give you that background blur that shows up like you’re shooting with a professional DSLR.

 

 

 

Smartphone manufactures have been pulling they’re hair trying to figure out where to put the fingerprint sensor. Some have removed it completely and opted for face unlocking techniques. Others have thrown it on the power button, making it more chunky, or even stuck it on the back making annoyingly hard to reach. Finally, we’ve found a solution. A display built in finger print reader, that takes up the whole display! Although other phones have similar tech, using light from the display to read the fingerprint. Samsung is the first company to use an ultrasonic sensor. This sensor uses small vibrations to determine the small groves on your fingers. Quite impressive right.  This also means the display doesn’t have to be on to unlock it and it could still read your finger if they’re wet.

Manufactures are clearly running out of ideas. Some are just releasing the same phone but with a newer name and a slightly faster processor. Everything is a boring slab of metal with nothing exciting. Samsung changed that and is definitely gonna be waking up to more profit.

Grow Lights

Are you a flower person? Do you love your greens? Well we have just the lights for you. These lights are grow lights, which means they help your plants grow faster and stronger than usual. In this video we showcase different sized and different watt LED grow lights. Hope you enjoy!

Links to all lights are down below

Links:

24w LED Grow Light Bulb

45w LED Grow Light Panel

100w Waterproof LED Grow Light

150w Waterproof LED Grow Light

 

Cool String Lights

Are you looking for something to spice up your room? Maybe for a holiday event with lots of guest you’d like impress? Well we might have something for you. In this video, we showcase three mood enhancing lights for whatever project or event you have. Many different colours and various different options available.

Links to all the lights are shown below.


5m Waterproof RGB Rope Light with Remote Control

10m (33ft) LED Silver Wire String Fairy Light

Warm White 50 Mini LED Light String Set

Listening to and Maintaining your Community and Following

Having a community and following is something that most companies and people desire. It can be hard to maintain and expand that community but there are steps that can be taken to ensure the community is happy and lasts for a long time. The three simple steps listed will be targeting the right audience, maintaining and focusing on the needs of the community and growth & expansion. The examples listed will include big name companies to small groups. No matter how big your community is, there is always room for expansion and things that will bring everyone together.

Having a community and following means you need to treat the people who are in the community with some respect and carefulness. Many people join these communities and followings because they all share a common interest or belief. Keeping your focus on these core beliefs and values can ensure the community stays together and focused on goals and tasks. It is also important to listen to feedback and general comments. They can provide a lot of ways to improve and grow communities and followings.

Thousands attend Blizzcon each year. It is a convention created by Blizzard Entertainment. The majority are fans who share the passion and interest of Blizzard’s games

A good example comes from an online video game. Overwatch is an online video game where changes happen a lot in their game. Characters and new things being added to the game influences a lot inside. The game has a player base of over 35 million players monthly and many of these players have their own opinions to changes in the game and the overall state of the game. The developers at Blizzard Entertainment do a great job of listening to the community and fitting their needs. The development team and support team are always active on forums and social media to inform and assist others. They also release monthly update videos to give the player base an update on what they are doing with the game and what they want to know from the community about these changes etc. Blizzard shows a great example on how to create and maintain a large community and keep them active and happy in where they are.

Having a community and following shouldn’t be focused on profit and general gain for yourself or your company. A lot of people can rely on these communities and believe it progresses people’s lives and other aspects. A community’s voice can even have a large impact on companies and other products. For example if you are making a change to your website that many members of the community dislike, you may want to change the plan or ask the community how they would like it. It seems like a simple concept except many large companies can sometimes fail to suit their community’s needs.

Battlefront 2 by EA had the record lowest user rating of any triple A studio

This is an example of a game publisher focusing on economical gain and not listening to their community. Electronic Arts (EA) published the video game Star Wars Battlefront 2 which was hit hard with negative reviews and feedback from the community. A lot of the issues were profit orientated and didn’t work well with the large player base. Issues included loot boxes which you have to pay for, paying for in game bonuses which is unfair and other features that made the game almost unplayable. EA’s response is the current most down voted (disliked) comment on Reddit with over 600,000 down votes. Their response to the situation and lack of care for their community resulted in negative sales for the game and a stock decline in an already declining company. EA’s response was listed as one of the worst company decisions of 2017. EA has also been nominated as the worst company in the U.S of 2017 and almost won that award as a result of this backlash. All they had to do was listen to the community and make the appropriate changes and maybe they wouldn’t have lost millions of dollars and decreases in stock prices.

Growing and expanding your community is a future goal that most people look forward to. It allows the community to grow even more and allows for a wider range of ideas from going outside the target interest to even creating live events to becoming a company. There are many success stories of companies and communities doing these things.

E-sports is very popular with students.

For example, many universities across North America have been creating varsity level Esports teams and clubs across campuses. Scholarships and other programs are now being offered for playing video games at a high level. This started as a simple idea. For example, the University of Toronto had a Facebook page for all of their students who enjoyed playing video games. It slowly kept on growing and other universities did the same. As popularity of these groups became more popular, they expanded and reached out to other universities about hosting friendly tournaments etc. Eventually over 30 universities signed up for the first tournament and this started what is now known as the University Esports League. Now there are over hundreds of universities, colleges and even high schools doing the same thing in North America. This all started as a small Facebook group talking about video games to a multi-million dollar investment.

UC Irvine’s Esports arena was built to cater the growing trend

All the examples listed showcase the large impact that a community can have and ways a company or leader can turn things around. Some of the most important steps are to keep a maintained focus on what the community enjoys and what they want out of being in a community. Making changes or doing things that will upset the community will lead to problems occurring and can go downhill. The most important step is making sure everyone in your community is doing well and truly caring for them.

– Benson Lam