Shooting Interviews with C-Log and Aputure

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I threw down some cash this past holiday season on a C100 Mark II, a set of Rokinon Primes, and some new LED's made by Aputure. I've been lighting interviews the past few years with some Lowel tungsten lights and felt like the time was right to move to LED's.

I've also been looking for a real LOG image to work with in post, not the Cine-D profile I was shooting with on my GH4. 

So here's what I bought:

Canon C100 Mark II 

Got it in 2015 right before it went on sale for $1000 less. Complained to Canon. No Love. Fuck you Canon. At least I like the camera. Ergonomically friendly, great image, light weight, looks way more like a real camera than my GH4 (yes, client perception is important). Tested all the different shooting profiles and also added some from AbelCine. I decided C-Log shooting was the way to go because I really want to practice color correction and grading this year, despite the fact that my turn around times need to be fast.

 

ROKINON CINE DS PRIMES

Hands down one of the best purchases I've made. I have a 14mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm and I love them all. With the exception of the 14mm which is a T3.1 these lenses are very fast T1.5 and beautifully sharp. I find myself going with the 24mm and 50mm for most of my work.

 

 

 

APUTURE LIGHTS

I bought the Aputure LS1S Lightstorm, the LS1/2 Lightstorm and Amaran HR672D all of which are daylit balanced. I read and watched some reviews and was impressed with their high CRI, ability to take V-mount or Gold batteries (I bought the V-mount version), and their light output.

 Here they are lighting my new lenses for the still above.

Here they are lighting my new lenses for the still above.

Here are some ungraded vs graded C-Log stills from some interviews I shot at Prana Fitness in Westchester, NY.

C-Log image

Graded.

The Aputure LS1S Lightstorm is the largest and brightest of the three lights. It's also the only light that has barn doors. Unfortunately, the bottom barn door on the fixture obstructs the lights tilt axis, so although it makes a nice key light, it's hard to angle your light down towards your subject to throw their shadow further down their neck. It works better as a side light.

The LS1/2 has half the output of the LS1S and does a very nice job as a fill light. Both the LS1S and LS1/2 comes with tracing paper which can be clipped to the light for diffusion. I find that 4-5 piece of paper is required on the LS1S Lightstorm as it's a fairly hard light.

The smaller and more focused Amaran is a nice back light and you can see it here giving a nice edge to the subject's hair.

Unfortunately, I shoot in many places during regular business hours, and can't control all the lighting. You can see pools of yellow light from the tungsten track lighting found throughout the gym as well as some natural daylight coming through the windows in the far background. Unlike the images below where I was able to frame tighter, this subject had lost over 125lbs and we wanted to see her in a full shot.

To avoid some of those tungsten pools of light from the house lights, I framed my second subject tighter and brought my backlight closer to the side to avoid that big green workout machine on the right of the frame.

A different setup with the same issue of tungsten light spilling all over the wall over the subject's left shoulder.

Overall, pretty pleased with my purchases and working hard to get better at lighting and color grading. Let me know how I'm doing and thanks for reading.

-MONSTRINTHEDARK