Tag: photo

Cinematography in Filmmaking

There are many fields in the film industry. Director, producer, lighting and camera crew, script writers and much more. A important job that influences the production in film that also creates and develops the visual narrative is cinematography.

So, what is cinematography?

It is the art and technology of motion-picture photography. This involves the lighting and location of a scene, camera choice, lens choice, camera angles and movements, as well as the involvement of any special effects.

Cinematography is important in film by supporting the overall look and mood of a film’s storyline. A cinematographer manages the camera and the lighting crew. they are responsible for creating the look of the scene, colour, lighting, and the framing of every shot in a film.

Some examples of cinematic techniques in filmmaking are:

  • Long shot

  • Close-up shot

  • Point-of-view shot

  • Bird’s-eye shot and more

These are some camera angles that cinematographers use to capture the story being told through different perspective that also cast different moods.

The 5 C’s of Cinematography

  1. Camera Angles – Vital to the stories narrative and the camera positioning helps to drive the story forward
  2. Continuity – To avoid inconsistencies, continuity must be considered in production and media
  3. Cutting – The order and sequence of shots become key in evoking the desired effect upon the audience
  4. Close-ups – Used to allow the viewer access to the intimate details of a characters emotions
  5. Composition – Plays a role in creating a mood and telling a story. Lighting, colours and spacing, among other visual aspects which are crucial in the co position of an image

Cinematography is used in every film and there are a wide range of motion-pictures that have creative cinematic experience. Here are two examples of cinematography in film.

Blade Runner 2049 – Cinematographer Roger Deakins

The attention to detail in the set design allows for long shots for the viewer to take in the atmosphere of the science fiction world with geometric designs. This angle provides a harsher look to the architecture that seems more imposing and unnerving when the characters are dwarfed by it.

The lighting in the film is constantly in motion, there are hardly any stationary light sources. The shift in light creates dynamic and alluring footage without being too distracting. Since the viewer knows what the source of light is, it enhances the reality of the scene.

Moonlight – Cinematographer James Laxton

Laxton uses bold colours and stunning shots to create an emotional experience. The film is driven by the internal conflicts of the characters rater than the plot. To communicate this in a visual way, the camera frames the subject so that they fill the majority of the screen, thus drawing the viewer into the emotional landscape being created. This would be a close up camera shot, it is used for the audience to see the emotional reactions of the characters more intimately.

During the swimming scene when Juan teaches Little to swim, the frame is set up in such a way that the viewer is not only watching this scene but also experiencing the rush of waves and Juan holding Little about the water. As if we, the audience are right next to them.

This is a brief synopsis of cinematography in film, as well as some examples where cinematographers used their creative and innovative thinking to create beautiful and stunning visuals to capture the heart of the story being told.

RGB Sexi Flexi flex panel Canada light lighting film

RGB Sexi-Flexi

Introducing the RGB Sexi-Flexi flex light! A new product with a wide range of special effects and capabilities.

The video below highlights the important and useful aspects of a flex panel. It focuses on the durability and pliability of a flex panel, as well as how efficient they are in any environment.

The new RGB flex light model Big City Lights is offering has great energy efficiency with a colour temperature ranging from 2700K to 9999K. As well as a hard carrying case with the essential equipment, such as: a power adapter, cross frame holder, diffusion silk, control box, and a 90˚ light stand.

There are also many special effects with this model beyond the original Bi-Colour, including but not limited to:

  • Lighting mode
  • Police car mode
  • Emergency mode
  • TV mode
  • Strobe lights (green, red, white, blue)
  • Nightclub mode

And much more.

Check out the video for more details regarding the RGB Sexi-Flexi.

 

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.

3 point film lighting Toronto canada Scarborough tutorial

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.

Rentals

lighting and AV rentals for film, video, stage , parties and events in Toronto

Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.
Please call to check availability416 894 4025

located at:

2370 Midland Ave – UNIT B9
Toronto, ON, M1S 5C6

Pricing is based on self pick up and return to our location.
Prices DO NOT include taxes, set up, delivery or return pick up.
If you require any of these services, please Contact Us for a quote.

All rentals are based on a 24 hour period or portion thereof,  ask us about our weekend rates!

 

Big City Lights is a lighting company that offers services for the film industry, photographers, events, stage shows and parties. We do both sales and rentals. We offer self serve pick up from our location, or we can deliver and/or offer set up in and around the GTA including Toronto, Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke, Richmond Hill, Markham, Thornhill, Vaughn, East York, Ajax, Pickering, Brampton, Oakville, Oshawa, Mississauga and more! Contact us for a quote.

We have been in the lighting business for over 15  years, and we offer great customer service in Toronto and the GTA.  Big City Lights works with event planners, filmmakers, photographers, video production companies, DJs, churches, synagogues and other places of worship to create the perfect lighting for your special event, concert, film shoot, photography shoot, party or stage show.  We  currently serve the areas of Scarborough, Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga, North York, Etobicoke, Richmond Hill, Markham, Vaughn, Thornhill,  East York, Pickering, Ajax, Oshawa and Oakville and more!  Contact us today for your wedding lighting, event lights or party lighting!

 

 

affordable rental of lighting and AV equipment in Toronto Canada. We have a large selection of rental lights rental film lighting LED lighting and audio visual equipment. Based in Toronto Canada and we sell to all of Canada and the USA. Video equipment and lights for all events and parties stage shows and concerts we even rent ring lights!

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:

Continue reading “Battery Operated Lighting Options”

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.

 

The BEST Folding Phone Available Now

We are living in a brand new era. Phones have been the same box like shape for the last 10 years. The idea of a phone being able to fold into a mini tablet has always been a fantasy. Well this year that fantasy is becoming a reality with the Huawei Mate X. The first foldable phone where the display bends too, revealing a nice looking mini tablet for your media consumption needs.

 

 

Picking up the phone you will find a bar along the side. That contains the cameras, finger print sensors and internal chips / hardware. The phone is running Huawei’s flagship mobile processor, the Kirin 980, as well as 8GB of RAM and a 512GB storage drive. Storage is also expandable with Huawei’s Nano Memory, up to 256GBs. This phone also has 5G cellular connection antenna in that side bar, giving it the title of “World’s Fastest 5G phone.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Huawei Mate X has two main screens (or two main halves) – a bezeless display on the front, and a smaller display that fits next to the sidebar on the back. The former measures 6.6-inches with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 2,480 x 1148 pixel resolution, while the rear-facing screen is 6.38-inches with a 25:9 aspect ratio and 2,480 x 892 pixel resolution. When opened completely it has a 8:7.1 aspect ratio and 2,480 x 2,200 pixel resolution.

 

 

 

In terms of battery this phone packs a lot. It has a 4,500mAh unit, which is split between the two halves of the displays. It also has Huawei’s 55W SuperCharge tech which allows it to be recharged from zero per cent to 85 per cent capacity in just 30 minutes.

One thing to not look forward to about this phone is the price. The Huawei Mate X goes for $3425 CAD, which is almost three time the price of a very premium flagship smart phone.

 

 

 

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.

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

 

Ray Tracing Reinvented for New Generation of Video

August featured the reveal of Nvidia’s new line up of graphic cards. They revealed their 2000 series with large upgrades to their 1000 series previously released in 2016. In addition to faster clock speeds, GDDR6 VRAM and a larger amount of CUDA cores – Nvidia has branded their new flagship from GTX to RTX featuring the latest real time ray tracing technology.

What is ray tracing?

Ray tracing is a method of rendering which produces a realistic and completely computer generated light effect. Ray tracing is used by film makers and producers through the industry. Ray tracing combined with the vast improvements of CGI and other graphical technology will make films and other productions look fully realistic.

This video released to demo their real time ray tracing shows the impressive abilities and features that can be used in the industry.

Ray tracing technology has been around for sometime in the film industry and has been in large usage due to the large amount of CGI used in recent films. So why is ray tracing such a surprise to the industry?

How will Ray Tracing cards affect the industry?

Ray tracing in the industry has been mainly done through expensive CPUs and other large server systems. Many companies can spend hours rendering each frame using ray tracing. The addition of the market being diversified by the new tech, we can expect companies to increase productivity and have larger access to these cards. Smaller production companies can now produce CG based films and other projects much more easier than before. Many game developers and small time studios can have better results with the real time ray tracing and can push the limit of what they can do.

How will ray tracing impact the average consumer?

The addition of these new graphics cards affects mainly the industry as it allows developers and producers to utilize a strong graphics cards with real time ray tracing. If you are not into a developing or producing, the card’s strong performance will increase speeds, improve texture quality and even use ray tracing in programs or games you might use. Many game developers have already begun integrating real time ray tracing into many upcoming and trending games.

Below are examples of Battlefield V an upcoming game using real time ray tracing technology.

Should people still get the newly released cards?

The Nvidia RTX cards are the top of the class as of right now for both having real time ray tracing accessible and strong gaming potential.  Real time ray tracing is still a new technology being reinvented but gameplay and recent renders from the new RTX cards shows a lot of potential. AMD has been rumoured of making their new GPUs with ray tracing technology and NVIDIA has the trend of releasing improved cards a year later of release. If you are planning to get a ray tracing card, it would be best to wait out for AMD’s release and other potential upgrades. If you want to wait till the prices are lower, you may have to wait over 5 years for it to become the norm in graphics cards.

So when will real time ray tracing be accessible?

The RTX cards have released on September 20th of 2018 with AMD coming out with their own rumoured around 2019. The market for RTX has opened up dramatically with these releases. Don’t get your hopes up too quick. Ray tracing is still a high end technology. The RTX cards will cost between 800 CAD to 1500 CAD depending on the model. NVIDIA explained that the Star Wars render shown was run on 4 high end GPUs that costed 60,000 dollars USD. The price difference will obviously result in a downgrade in quality but given the upcoming years the prices will go down – all thanks to the start of the competitive market between AMD and Intel for both GPUs and CPUs.

 

US Prices for the RTX cards

 

What is the final verdict on the new the new ray tracing cards?

The new ray tracing cards are a sign of rising technology being more advanced and more accessible to the consumers. Many can be put away due to high prices but due to a competitive market, prices are actually decreasing. A high price results in realistic graphics and high performance in games, fast video related tasks such as rendering and the ability to use real time ray tracing technology. The new cards give us a glimpse of what to see in the future as ray tracing and even faster tech will be available for consumers and for those in the industry. The large rise in growing technologies is giving tech companies competition to see how will grow more successful.

– Benson Lam